Washington, Oct. 23: In the last and final debate between presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, the gloves well and truly came off, revealing claws that attacked the opponent mercilessly.
Sarcasm, mockery and arrogance were used liberally, as they charged at each other with “horses and bayonets.”
Ridiculing the Massachusetts Governor for his seeming lack of inexperience and naivete in foreign policy and military realm, President Obama said: “You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed.” One could almost hear the trumpets and bugles in the background.
The debate seemed like some Arjuna vs Duryodhana clash of words before the Mahabharata. The challenger and the challenged goading each other to sound more unreasonable than the other.
Granted, that the target audience was for the American public, the undecided voter, but this was a debate that was watched all over the world, especially because it was supposed to be on foreign policy.
And, what was obvious to non-Americans watching the debate was the rah-rah attitude of the two top politicians in America regarding the country’s foreign policy.
To most of us you know what they sounded like : ‘Oh we are so wonderful, we are so powerful, we are God’s chosen people on this planet, and we will sort out the world.’
Clearly, the recent opinion polls have got the U.S. president worried. So, he flubbed his way through, stared at his opponent and just hoped that “and Osama bin Laden is dead” would nullify all the arrows in Romney’s quiver.
But wait, like from some theatre of the absurd, Romney came up with: “Mali has been taken over, the northern part of Mali by al-Qaeda type individuals.”
One could just imagine Mullah Omar rolling on the floor with laughter with that comment.
Much cheer went out among NRIs when Obama said, “If we had asked Pakistan (for) permission, we would not have gotten him.” He added, “When it comes to going after Osama bin Laden, you said any president would make that call but when you were a candidate in 2008 … you said we shouldn’t move heaven and earth to get one man. You said we should ask Pakistan for permission … It was worth moving heaven and earth to get him.” But there really wasn’t much to cheer about, because India figured nowhere in the debate. Not in any of the three debates. Not as an ally and strategic partner and thankfully not as a problem creator either. So maybe it is better we are not on anyone’s radar, especially not American radars!
So, when the two rambled about Israel, Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan, Iran, China and even Russia, it really, honestly, felt good that we were not being spoken about.
We can actually sit in comfort that we are in the august company of ‘the rest of the world’ which includes Europe, Australia and Japan and pretty much most of the ASEAN region. I don’t know about you, but I am quite comfortable in such august company. By Smita Prakash (ANI)